Friday, March 30, 2007

Man bites shark

Again & again & again, until some large sharks are nearly extinct. Overfishing of sharks is changing our oceans.

Slow to grow and reproduce, sharks have nevertheless been big winners of the evolutionary sweepstakes. Now humans are threatening to undo millions of years of success in a few decades of reckless fishing.

Recent evidence shows how overfishing of sharks, by removing apex predators, can undo ocean food webs. The problem is so bad that there are few places on earth where sharks and other apex predators remain abundant.

Studies of the relatively pristine Northwest Hawaiian Islands, in the fabulous Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, provide a rare glimpse of a predator-dominated marine food web.
So beware, Mr. Shark, the new kids on the block are a real threat.

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